Inbee Park enters LPGA Hall of Fame on Thursday, but retirement rumors loom

Inbee Park enters LPGA Hall of Fame on Thursday, but retirement rumors loom

All Inbee Park has to do to get into the LPGA Hall of Fame on Thursday is finish the first 18 holes of the KPMG Women's PGA Championship. That's it.

With that round in the books, Park will have played on the LPGA for 10 years, the final roadblock between her and induction. At last year's season-ending CME Group Tour Championship, Park secured the 27th point she needed -- earned by winning tournaments, majors and season-long awards -- to qualify. However, a player must have been on the LPGA for a decade to earn induction.

Park has stumbled to wrapping up that 10 years of service. She's been plagued by a thumb injury that has kept her on the sidelines many times this season. She opened the season with an 80 in the Bahamas that sent her to the disabled list for a month. After a runner-up at the Kia Classic and a T-6 finish at the ANA Inspiration, the season's first major, Park managed to finish T-6 at the Lotte Championship in Hawaii. However, in her last two starts, Park has withdrawn after the opening round, shooting 74 on Day 1 of the Kingsmill Championship and an eye-popping 84 at the inaugural Volvik Championship the next week in Michigan.

The nagging nature of Park's injury and the reality that the seven-time major winner wants to soon start a family with her coach and husband of 20 months, Gi Hyub Nam, now has sprung whispers that the world No. 2 is considering retirement. Asked about the possibility of walking away from the LPGA ahead of her quest for a fourth consecutive Women's PGA (formerly the LPGA Championship) title, Park did little to quiet that talk.

“If I knew right now how long I’m going to play, I’d tell you right now,” Park said at Sahalee Country Club. “But unfortunately there is no surprise announcement right now, where I’m going to retire after this year. I really don’t have an answer for you right now.”

Park acknowledged she'd like to start a family within the next three years. However, she isn't sure if she'll try to balance the demands of touring golf with motherhood, or if she'll just choose to walk away from pro golf.

“I am happy right now that I’m here, so I am playing,” she said. “But [retirement] can be tomorrow. It can be three years. It can be five years in time. It can change overnight.”

So long as it didn't happen on Wednesday night, Park will land a spot in the LPGA Hall of Fame, regardless of what comes next.

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